Best Music To Listen To While Reading, According To Scientific Research

We admit it, we’re huge book lovers. There’s nothing better than reading a good book, is there? Well, there is. 

There’s reading a book to music. Here’s the straight dope!

Can I Hear Music While Reading? 

Best Music To Listen To While Reading

Yes, of course, you can hear music while reading. In fact, that can be a problem for some people who find that if they can hear the music, they can’t concentrate on the page before them.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t listen to music and read, it just means that some people are never going to enjoy the experience. 

Many more will, though, and reading to music can be an intensely pleasurable experience. 

The Best Music To Read To 


So, what’s the best kind of music to listen to while reading? 

Well, research says that if you want to read and listen to music, you ought to pick something that relaxes you because that improves your focus. 

What, exactly relaxes you, is going to vary from reader to reader but we find some light jazz or light classical to be really good.

The lack of words means that we don’t find ourselves trying to sing-a-long and read, which does break your concentration.

Instead, we can just flow with the music and the words on the page. 

Prefer a scientific recommendation?

Current research says that there are several types of music which can help to improve your concentration: 

  • Instrumental music. This may be the best form of music to read to because it creates a low stress environment. You can listen on your bone conduction headphones or your bookshelf speakers and be just as comfortable too.
  • Classical music. There’s research that suggests listening to classics improves the mind when reading. 
  • Ambient/Chill. As the name suggests, these sounds help you relax and concentrate.
  • Jazz. Low tempo jazz is ideal for focusing thoughts. 

Is It A Good Idea To Listen To Music While Reading? 


Yes, though it’s important to remember that the best music to read with is music that makes you feel relaxed and able to focus.

Music can be distracting in some case too, particularly when:

  • The music is new. New music encourages you to pay attention to the song rather than the page.
  • When reading challenging material. If you find the subject matter hard going, you may be tempted to focus more on the sounds and less on the words. It’s probably best to mute your Audioengine speakers at this point.
  • When trying to remember information. If you’re using rote learning methods, these may be thrown off by the use of music when reading. 

Final Thoughts

The best music to read by is music that helps you concentrate and enjoy the act of reading more. That’s really all there is to it.

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